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Runaway: Stories
ALICE MUNRO

Runaway: Stories by Alice Munro
37 reviews (2004) (352p)
New York TimesĀ® Best Fiction Books
TIME Magazine Best Fiction Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
U.S.A. $24.00

In Alice Munro's superb new collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer.
The runaway of the title story is a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband. In "Passion," a country girl emerging into the larger world via a job in a resort hotel discovers in a single moment of stunning insight the limits and lies of that mysterious emotion. Three stories are about a woman named Juliet-in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild and irresistible love match; in the second she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose life and marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her child, caught, she mistakenly thinks, in the grip of a religious cult, vanishes into an unexplained and profound silence. In the final story, "Powers," a young woman with the ability to read the future sets off a chain of events that involves a friend and her husband-to-be in lifelong pursuit of what such a gift really means, and who really has it.
Throughout this compelling collection, Alice Munro's understanding of the people about whom she writes makes them as vivid as our own neighbors. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprises of love-between men and women, between friends, between parents and children-that are the stuff of all our lives. It is Alice Munro's special gift to make these stories as vivid and real as our own.

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published ten previous collections of stories-Dance of the Happy Shades; Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You; The Beggar Maid; The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Friend of My Youth; Open Secrets; her Selected Stories; The Love of a Good Woman; and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage --as well as a novel, Lives of Girls and Women. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including three of Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards and its Giller Prize; the Rea Award for Short Fiction; the Lannan Literary Award; England's W. H. Smith Award; and the United States' National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.
Alice Munro and her husband divide their time between Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron, and Comox, British Columbia.

Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; The Love of a Good Woman; Selected Stories; Open Secrets; The Progress of Love; and Lives of Girls and Women are available in Vintage paperback.

Author photograph by Derek Shapton
Jacket art: TK
Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson

Alfred A.


Amazon.com Review
Alice Munro has been accused of telling the same story over and over, and to a certain extent the characterization is true. Her subject matter is inevitably the vagaries of love between middle-aged people in some rural Canadian setting, trapped there by the combination of their desires and weaknesses. Or, if not love, then at least the mysteries of relationships as characters struggle to understand each other and themselves. But this thematic single-mindedness can hardly be considered a criticism considering Munro tells stories better than anybody else and with a level of precision matched by few. It would be like criticizing Shakespeare for writing about politics.

Runaway is no exception. The stories take place throughout Canada--northern Ontario, the Prairies, the West Coast, Stratford--and feature women and men drifting in and out of each other's orbits, pulled by forces they don't understand. In "Runaway," a woman considers leaving her husband with the help of a neighbor, but the husband has other plans. In "Chance," a woman leaves her life behind in a quest for a man she met on a train crossing the country. Their intertwined lives play out through two more stories, "Soon" and "Silence," but the path they follow is as unpredictable to the reader as it is to them. In "Trespasses," a small town's women dream of escaping their lives only to find themselves in lives they never imagined.

What really marks the stories is Munro's sense of mood. There's a sense of hidden menace or even violence everywhere in Runaway. It occasionally erupts, but always in surprising and unexpected ways, and with unintended consequences. Munro may be an old-fashioned storyteller, but she understands chaos theory well enough. The same story? Sure. But it's a damn good one. --Peter Darbyshire, Amazon.ca


Other Award Winning Books by Alice Munro
Dear Life by Alice Munro
704 reviews (2012) (336p) (Amazon Top100) (PW Fiction) (NYT100) (Kirkus Top25)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories by Alice Munro
41 reviews (2001) (336p) (NBCCA) (NYTimes) (LATimes) (TIME)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
The Love of a Good Woman: Stories by Alice Munro
28 reviews (1998) (352p) (NBCCA) (NYTimes)
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Selected Stories by Alice Munro
15 reviews (1996) (688p) (NYTimes)
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Open Secrets: Stories by Alice Munro
11 reviews (1994) (294p) (NYTimes) (LATimes) (ALA)
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FRIEND OF MY YOUTH by Alice Munro
10 reviews (1990) (288p) (NYTimes) (LATimes)
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THE PROGRESS OF LOVE by Alice Munro
6 reviews (1986) (320p) (NYTimes)
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THE MOONS OF JUPITER by Alice Munro
2 reviews (1983) (256p) (NYTimes)
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The Beggar Maid: Stories by Alice Munro
12 reviews (1980) (224p) (Booker)
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Alice Munro Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 5  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 5  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 1 The Love of a Good Woman: Stories ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 2 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories · The Love of a Good Woman: Stories ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 1 The Beggar Maid: Stories ·  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact